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Israel 38, Carol 20, Us 19, Chicago 13, United States 11, New York 11, Cnn 10, Jimmy Fallon 7, America 7, Nbc 7, U.s. 6, Bachmann 5, Jerusalem 5, Obama 5, Hundley 4, Mavericks 4, Fda 4, Jay Leno 4, Jason 4, Carol Costello 4,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations. New.  

    March 21, 2013
    6:00 - 7:59am PDT  

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it is time for "end point." cameron russell. >> yesterday, obama was overheard on the mike saying he was glad to escape congress. and i think it is a -- a sign of how polarized and insane our congress is, if he prefers the balancing act of israel and palestine. >> in an interview with jake tapper, so much for the charm offensive. but he also said he didn't take it personally. >> we're talking about how much polarization there is. one issue where there is less is the issue of same-sex marriage, which we are talking about a little bit this morning. the supreme court will hear arguments on tuesday and wednesday of next week on this issue around which now there is
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a little bit of a media frenzy much everybody lined up. people want to say -- people in public life, politicians, religious figures want to get on record now before these arguments, where they stand. hillary clinton this week, rob partman last week, a real moment. >> a historical, seminole moment where people feel the need to get on the record now. if you make a statement after next week, is that too late? >> i don't think so. if the catholic church is going to show movement, now would be the time. i think it's probably unlikely and certainly the majority of republicans in elected, political office are not yet supportive. but there is definitely much less polarization around this. >> and also a seminnother impor moment. john berman turned another year older. zoraida has the cakes. >> i took my mike off and i need
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to use yours. let me tell you, we got you this cake and i went to the back and had you two additional cakes. you are a very popular man. happy birthday. no candles. but you can pretend and make a wish. >> the different cakes, because the staff can't agree on what they like. >> velvet, oreo, and chocolate fudge. >> we have to pause so i can eat this. now to newsroom with carol cosstello, pretty please. >> happy birthday! >> thank you. happening now in the newsroom, breaking overnight. rockets fired just miles from president obama in israel. also, shut down in chicago. >> i think it's a bit ridiculous. >> if you take them out of where they live, what does that say to the child? >> an unprecedented move to
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close 50 elementary schools. critics say it targets minorities and the poor. plus dow watch. records being shattered every day. should you give your 401(k) a fresh look? plus, late night shakeup. >> before we get started, i have to talk about the rumors today. >> will "the tonight show" get a new host? >> the rumors are true. nbc is turning "the tonight show" into diving competition. >> you're live in the cnn newsroom. good morning, thank you so much for being with me. i'm carol costello. we begin this morning in israel. rockets fly, a cease-fire wobbles and president obama's visit highlights the enormous challenges of trying to broker a peace deal. president obama wrapped up the meeting with mahmoud abbas, president of the palestinian authority. and the palestinians blamed for
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the latest tension. two rockets fired from gaza scratch into southern israel. no injuries, but still dealing a below to obama's push for israeli, palestinian peace talks. sara sidener in ramallah where this morning's meeting was held. tell us more about it, sara. >> reporter: let's be clear, when you say palestinians are responsible for the latest break, we are talking about gaza as opposed to the west bank. we need to be very clear about that. the palestinian authority is in control here, in the west bank. hamas in control in gaza. and that is where those rockets came from. no one has claimed responsibility, although we're hearing from officials it is likely an outside group. not hamas that fired those rockets, but a fringe group. yet, two rockets came over, making the deal between gaza and israel a shaky one. the cease-fire.
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but here things very calm. we saw the president and president abbas coming together and talking about some of the issues. not a flowery and highly welcoming meeting as you saw there. he welcomed him to the palestinian territories, the president thanked him, but we weren't seeing a lot of the pomp and circumstance we saw with the israeli prime minister, for example, and president. what we did hear a lot about and expected to hear a lot about is the issue of settlements. the president talked about settlements, talking about the fact that the u.s. policy has remained the same that new settlement building does not help the peace process. abbas saying it's a sticking point. but they both still believe the two-state solution is the only solution to this conflict. >> sara sidner, thank you. the bodies killed during a training exercise are going home for burial. all members of first battalion,
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9th marine recommendations nent. 25 years or young every. a 60 millimeter mortar round killed them, and injured several more. corporal aaron ripperda, 26-year-old from madison, illinois. an antitank missileman who enlisted in september 2008. william wild iv, 21. the anne arundel county maryland maytive joined october 2010. lance corporal mason vanderwork from hickory, north carolina. a mortarman who joined june 2010. lance corporal joshua taylor, marietta, ohio. he joined in june 2010, and lance corporal roger muchnick, from fairfield, connecticut, a mortarman who joined in june 2010. and lance corporal david fenn ii, from polk city, florida,
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joined the marine corps in june 2010. and private first class, joshua martino, 19 years old who joined in july 2012. we honor all of them this morning. a full-scale manhunt under way for the person who killed colorado's prison chief, tom clements shot in the chest tuesday night while answering the door at his home near colorado springs. right now, police have very little to go on. jim spellman joins us now. police are looking for a specific car. tell us more about that. >> reporter: that's right. that's the key focus of this investigation at this point. several eyewitnesss witnessed what seems like the same car that all their descriptions were very consistent. that's very important. in an investigation like this. where eyewitness testimony can be less than reliable. here is the undersheriff of el paso county talking about the car.
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>> we are continuing to look for the car. several stated they had seen that vehicle on the night of the 19th when mr. clements was shot. >> reporter: a witness also saw that same car driving away from the scene toward an area where there are numerous cameras, convenience stores, gas stations, traffic cameras, police are wading through hours of that tape right now sometimes going frame by frame, trying to see if they can identify the car and possibly a license plate through that. trying to create a description and the identity of the driver is key. i spoke with head of the major crimes unit, they have over 100 solid tips chasing down, detectives getting ready to have a meeting to get coordinated and move the investigation forward today, carol. >> everybody searching for a motive to this murder this after his office made some high-profile decisions.
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what were they? >> reporter: his 30 years in the prison system in missouri and 2 years in colorado, they are meeting with people in missouri. that is an unbelievable amount of people that interacted with him through the years. they are trying to see if any cases in the system come to light. one case that they are looking at was a case that just came down last week, involves a saudi national. the -- mr. clements denied a request to send him back to saudi arabia. that's certainly on the radar, no indication at this time that has reisen abo risen above the he has dealt with over the years. in north korea, new statements against the united states. a statement from pyongyang warn naval stations in guam are within its striking distance. annual military exercises have
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been happening in the area. a hunger strike at guantanamo bay has quadrupled. 25 prisoners are skipping meals and eight of them are being force fed with a hose that goes up their noses. lawyers for detainees say they are protested because their correspo korans were searched and they are losing hope of ever being freed. in chicago, 50 public schools could be shut down. tens of thousands of kids will be sent to schools that perform better and have more resources. the news has outraged many parents who say the cuts are mainly targeting minorities. >> what do you think about that? >> i think it's a bit ridiculous. >> any part of chicago that's trying to rebuild, the neighborhood is important. if you take them out of where they live, what does that say to the child? >> school officials say they will be able to close schools
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that are old and largely empty. most of the children affected will begin their new schools in the fall. okay, let's talk about something good, depending on whether are you a miami heat fan. in sports, yes, the streak is still alive. the miami heat won 24th straight game in dramatic fashion. down 24 points, and the heat roared back by, no surprise here. lebron james. andy sholes here to talk more about it. and poor cleveland. keeps getting bammed by lebron. >> poor, poor cleveland. lebron has been amazing during the win streak, especially last five games. monday night in boston, he scored 37 points, game-winning shot and last night, one of the greatest comebacks in nba regular season history. 19 minutes to go with 24 points. only five times in 2,018 games has a team come back in that
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circumstance. lebron scored 27 points, and defeated the cavs 98-95 for 24th straight win. it capped off a final road trip that the heat called their reunion tour. teams previous four stops in cities where other heat player has played previously. lebron was determined not to let his stop in cleveland be the team's only loss. >> the streak wasn't on my mind. us getting blown out crossed my mind a couple of times this is the reunion tour, and, you know, i would be the only guy to take a loss on the reunion tour. so i had to dig down. >> so the heat's reunion tour, a huge success. undefeated. they return to miami for the next two games against two of the worst teams in the east, detroit and charlotte. >> sometimes the bad teams get you, though, right? what are the biggest obstacles? >> after two games at home. back on the road for four more, and they go to chicago on march 27th. a lot of people are circling
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that game as the -- could be the one that breaks the streak. they get by that one, head to new orleans, shouldn't be one of the problems. and then they make a stop in san antonio, top seed in the west on march 31st. that would be the last huge obstacle for the heat in terms of them going on to break the '71-'72 streak set by the lakers. >> there was a kid saying in we'd love to have you back. >> he ain't going to cleveland, no way. maybe he'll bring his friends with him. turning to your money, stocks poised to open flat after closing in the green wednesday. alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. so tell us about -- the stock market makes no sense these days. i'm sorry it just doesn't. >> you know what? this is a market these days,
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carol, that rides on what is really headlining the news. you remember the cyprus debt crisis flareup? there was news on the jobs front. weekly jobless claims edged up a bit last week and 45 minutes, new numbers on existing home sales. we'll watch for these. the housing market is really doing well lately. the expectation for this report is to see a rise in home sales and we'll see if the market can pick up steam on good news in the housing market. and the dow can touch new record highs. i'll keep an eye on it for you, carol. >> ian, a new report for the government. and absolutely slams freddy mack. why? >> troubling reports concerning freddie mac, inspector general of the federal housing finance agency, saying they aren't doing such a good job of working out complaints from homeowners. they found that freddie's eight
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biggest servicers resolved more than 25,000 complaints. that sounds great, but they failed to take care of more than 20% of them in the required 30-day window. that's even after they moved the case up the chain of command. a huge problem, when it comes to serious complaints like servicing fraud and improper foreclosures, what it means, people could potentially lose their homes while these services are twiddling their thumbs on cases. the report it found that four of freddie servicers never reported any cases in this period, even though they handled more than 20,000 of them, so this watchdog agency put out recommendations. we'll see if those recommendations go anywhere. carol. >> alison kosik live from the new york stock exchange. a little politics/entertainment. a fresh dose of sarah palin when she took stage at the conservative political action conference. cpac. now another heaping helping
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thanks to tina fey on "inside the actors studio." >> same-sex marriage what is your view? >> the bible says it's gross. and i don't judge it. a lot of amazing wonderful people i met in the audience of "dancing with the stars" seem to go that way. but, no. >> no same-sex marriage? >> marriage is meant for people who wear different kinds of swim suits. >> women look up to you. >> um-hum. >> do you have any fashion and hair styling ahee inine ining a? >> well, i'm a fan of the bumpette.
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also to a tan you couldn't possibly have in alaska. and that's really all you need. >> greater importance, how does a woman like you make her way through a man's world? >> i don't think of it as a man's world or a woman's world, unless, again, we're talking about marriage. but i think of it as people being mavericks or not being mavericks. >> may i be permitted just one more? >> okay, then. but you know, sometimes people ask me stuff and i doan answer it anyway, so go ahead. a slippery one. >> what do you think of tina faye's portray ohl of you? >> it's the best one i never watched. >> thank you very much. thank you. >> yes, thank you very much, tina fey. you needed to laugh this morning, right? just ahead in the newsroom, one of rihanna's tour buses
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stopped by agents at the canadian border. seems they smelled pot on board. we'll be right back. le cream to work? neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair has the fastest retinol formula. to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles in just one week. neutrogena®.
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to today is gonna be anlines and important day for us.week. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers.
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. 18 minutes past the hour. seven people in stable condition after a shooting early this morning at a chicago nightclub. the incident at a video release party was gang related. the exact number of injuries isn't known. other victims got rides to local hospitals. no arrests have been made. same-sex marriage, gets the nod from the american association of pediatrics. children's health and well-being is better whether parents are married. in 30 years of research, there is absolutely no proof that children raised by gay parents are worse off than those raised by straight parents. u.s. border patrol agents found a small amount of marijuana on rihanna's tour bus. rihanna wasn't on the bus.
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the buses rolled on after an unnamed person got a citation. jurors in the jodi arias trial are expected to grill a key defense expert with more than 100 questions today. richard samuels says he diagnosed arias with post-traumatic stress disorder and that's why she can't remember details the night she killed travis alexander. she claims it was all in self-defense. ted rowlands outside the courthouse in phoenix. there are some big problems with this guy's testimony? >> well, yeah, carol, he's made some errors in his reports. and also lost his composure on the sand and let's face it, a huge job. a very important witness, trying to convince this jury that jodi arias isn't lying, that she suffers from ptsd and that's why she has memory loss.
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>> and more interrogation video has surfaced. >> reporter: yes, six hours of interrogation footage over two days. it's fascinating. you hear her talk about her story, change her story, and also see her when there are no detectives in the room and when there are people. at times she is on the floor. head on the table, sometimes singing, laughing, and basically more of that video of her standing on her head. six hours of it. the jury only saw a small portion of it. >> okay. let's continue to look at this video. it's so bizarre. how much longer is this trial expected to last? >> that's a great question. delay after delay. yesterday someone threw up in the courtroom, so they ended court early. bottom line, 2 1/2, 3 weeks before the jury will get this. the maricopa county sheriff's office estimated they spent over
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$800,000 already defending jodi arias and as this continues to move at a snail's pace, the meet every on that keeps on ticking. people in this county are not happy about that. >> yeah, i heard you bought a rental property there. ted rowlands, reporting live. michele bachmann under not so friendly fire from a fellow con sear conservative republican. bill o'reily blasting bachmann. cnn chief congressional correspondent dana bash tried to get bachmann to explain unfounded charges that obama was enjoying too many perks. >> it turns out o'riley tried to
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follow up. bachmann's spokesman suggested he read the book about bachmann -- okay. i'll get this right. he suggested that bill o'reily read this book where bachmann got those so-called facts out of. that didn't sit too well with o'rio o'rei o'reily. >> trivial attacks on president obama are obscuring serious problems in this country. does the president live well in the white house? yes, he does. is there money wasted it? you bet there is. every other president in history lived in comfort and president bush the younger had a bigger budget than barack obama does. this is a trivial pursuit and michel michele bachmann made a mistake pursuing it. >> he said she needs to focus on bigger issues. will gitmo ever close?
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facebook.com/carol cnn or tweet me @carolcnn. a lot of heat with this question. keep it coming. you can rent a car without a reservation... and without a line. now that's a fast car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz.
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now to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. the question of the morning. will gitmo ever close? gitmo. seems so 2008? when president obama vowed to close guantanamo bay. >> i have said repeatedly, i intend to close guantanamo bay. >> fat chance. the pentagon is considering a $150 million taxpayer overhaul. a new dining hall, hospital, and baracks for the guards who will continue to monitor a growing problem in the prison. the hunger strike. at least 25 prisoners held for years without trial are refusing to eat. one, according to his lawyer, has lost 30 pounds so far. as for why they are doing this? u.s. general john kelly has a
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theory, anger at mr. obama. >> they were particularly put off i'm told when the president has really made no mention of closing the facility, he said nothing in the inauguration speech and this is them bringing this up to us. nothing in the inauguration speech about closing it. nothing in the state of the union. >> so what to do? the striking prisoners are being force pedestrifed through tubesr noses, since they aren't likely to be charged, transferred or released ever. the office president obama created to shutter guantanamo was shuttered in january. closed down. our question to you this morning, will gitmo ever close? facebook.com/carolcnn. or tweet me @carolcnn.
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. good morning. thank you for being with us. i'm carol costello. time for political buzz, your rapid fire look at the top political topics. jason johnson, chief political correspondent for politics 365. and we also have contributor and columnist for the daily beast. first up, steven king, the author, the man best known for horror novels, turning his attention to gun violence. king, himself a gun owner, doesn't want to overturn the second amendment, he says it's time for both sides to stop the rhetoric. king says "you can outlaw ar-15s, but you the can't outlaw crazy. the next adam lanza is out there somewhere.
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the job we all have as responsible americans to make it as hard for these loonies as possible. ground on that?"find a middle - . but king points out there is no middle ground on guns or anything else in this country. and let's face it. is the gun argument really about safety of children anymore? the question, what is the gun argument really about? >> i love stephen king's essay. this is stephen king as a radical centrist. we need more of them. and disproportionately dominating the debate. they are not buying it into it. we need more voices bringing people together and tuning out the crazies. >> jason. >> and the core of the argument is who is asking. all you need -- you can shoot
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you, you have to prove you are responsible. these are simple solutions, and it's about obama, not about kids and not by ideology. >> question number two, one of the signature issues of obama's first campaign for the white house. the president's pledge to close gitmo. are i have said repeatedly, i intend to close guantanamo, and i will follow through on that. >> we're learning that a hunger strike at the detention facility is expanding to 25. one u.s. general is playing down those reports, though, saying action is a result of anger at president obama. >> they were particularly put off, i'm told, when the president has made no mention of
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closing the facility. nothing in the inauguration speech this is them bringing this up to us. nothing in the inauguration speech about closing it. nothing in the state of the union. >> in january, the office working to close gitmo set up by the president, it was closed itself. the special envoy in charge, reassigned, with no plans whatsoever to replace him. our question, will gitmo ever close? jason. >> you know what? it probably won't and this is one of the great embarrassments of the 21st century in the united states. these are men and women who are accused of crime. not lex luthor, the joker, not a supercriminal. we should find these people guilty and put them in a real prison this is an embarrassment that obama really should take care of. >> john. >> yeah, the reality is, of course, it's not that easy. there is a gap between campaign rhetoric and the responsibilities of office. we have created an extra legal situation. if it was easy to close gitmo,
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it could have been done. it doesn't help that congress cut off funding to move these people to mainland prisons. let's focus on the facts. >> finally, let's go 30 seconds on this one. one of my favorite topics this morning. it turns out jay leno is a conservative darling, for blogger matt drudge. tweeting anger that leno dared to offer jokes for the other 50% of the country and not just liberals. perhaps he was talking about moments like this. >> after losing two presidential elections in a row, the republican party now has now outlined a plan to attract minorities. they want to attract minorities, women, gay, lesbian, young voters. show the newest ad. >> get ready for a brand new republican party. we've changed our position on just about everything. for starters, we'll raise taxes on everyone who makes more money
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than you. also, we decided we're a-okay with same-sex marriages and we'll pay for the honeymoon. and we'll not only embrace immigrants, we'll make it easier to get into the country. by installing a moving sidewalk on the border. the new republican party. sign up today and get a free bag of weed. >> i just love that. actually, leno is doing what rush limbaugh and others have done all week. they are mocking the autopsy to broaden the party. there is a big comedy tent. >> i'm old school. i try to reach that broad audience, where you reach everybody. "the tonight show" is different from "colbert" and "the daily show." excellent. nobody funnier than colbert and jon stewart. they are reaching a specific
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audience. i'm hoping to reach some of that audience, maybe some of their friends, some of their parents, some of their kids. we're going for a wide scope. >> so our question, are conservatives overlooked in popular culture? jason? >> no. this is a ridiculous question. it's not that jay leno reaches the other 50%. he speaks to an older crowd. i was a conan o'brien kid in college. that's why he's going to be moved by jimmy fallon. conservatives don't tend it be funny if there were conservatives out there that were funny, they wouldn't get overlooked by pop culture. >> that is cold. >> it's true. >> john. look, the question is, conservatives overlooked in popular culture. the reality is that conservatives end up being very often at war with popular culture. trying to basically do a flanking move with much of modernity, because they want to conserve the past. they are traditionalists.
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there is space for libertarian south park conservatives, conservatives feel like they are locked out from popular culture better look in the mirror and get with the program, start working with american culture. >> jason and john, thank you for playing today. coming up, jimmy fallon might join the ranks of johnny courson on "the tonight show." good-bye, jay leno. nbc isn't talking, but it's building a new studio. we'll tell you more about that. it's a hawk with night vision goggles. it's marching to the beat of a different drum. and where beauty meets brains. it's big ideas with smaller footprints. and knowing there's always more in the world to see. it's the all-new lincoln mkz.
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okay. we talked about jay leno going bye-bye. and jimmy fallon replacing him. jimmy fallon talked about that rumor on his show. let's listen. >> before we get started, i have
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to talk about the rumors today, that i will be moving up to 11:30, or as my parents call it, still too late. the rumors are true, nbc is turning "the tonight show" into diving competition. so exciting. >> why not just confirm it? we all know it, nbc is building a new studio in new york for jimmy fallon. >> reporter: could "the tonight show" return to new york with "late night with jimmy fallon" replacing jay leno. no official word yet, but nbc is building a brand new new york studio for fallon who already broadcasts from the big apple. >> thank you for tuning in. >> the dramatic cross country move would take the late-night talk show back to its roots where steve allen, jack parr and johnny carson held court. in 1972, carson, looking for
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easier access to hollywood guests, took the show to the west coast. why go back to new york? >> that's his comfort zone, where lauren michaels, who over seas his show is, these days, air travel is a lot easier and a lot of stars are in new york as well. so i don't think that will hurt him too much. >> reporter: l.a. times writer joe flint says don't forget that other jimmy. >> advertisers pay more for younger viewers and jimmy kimmel, since moving to 11:30 fr midnight is making inroads in that audience. nbc wants to get fallon in there sooner rather than later before kimmel gets too established. >> reporter: kimmel spoke to jake tapper about fallon taking over "the tonight show." >> there is talk about mr. leno's departure, although i've read those stories before. >> i know. you read stories and really never know if they are true or not, unless you hear it from somebody over there. >> it has to be a direct
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response to you coming and -- >> god, i hope so. i really hope. i don't know. i mean, i have no idea. obviously, nbc is looking to move on, because they did it once already. this would be the second time that this has happened. so i mean, it makes perfect sense and jimmy fallon is doing a great job, very popular. eventually it will happen, one way or the other. >> st. patrick drove all of the snakes out of ireland and they came to the united states and became nbc executives. >> reporter: how does leno feel about all of this? >> jay is still number one, but his grasp on the audience has slipped a little bit and he knows he won't be in this job forever and there was always a little bit of tension between jay leno and conan o'brien that doesn't really exist between him and jimmy fallon, so i think that also helps as well. there's better relation shups there all around. >> reporter: in fact, according to "the hollywood reporter," fallon called leno to smooth things over and ease the
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transition of coasts and hosts. nischelle turner, cnn, hollywood. >> we have a lot more on "the lead" with jake tapper, 4:00 p.m. eastern, only on cnn. [ male announcer ] it's red lobster's lobsterfest our largest selection of lobster entrees, like lobster lover's dream or new grilled lobster and lobster tacos. come in now and sea food differently. visit redlobster.com now for an exclusive $10 coupon on two lobsterfest entrees.
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4 minutes past the hour. time to check top stories. a full-scale manhunt for a shooter. tom clements was shot when he answered the door near colorado springs. they hope to talk to a woman walking in the area and the driver of a boxy looking car spotted at the time of the shooting. this coffee might be the strongest brew. that's what its makers say. it's called death wish coffee. roasted in upstate new york and claims to have 520 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce cup. compare that to 260 milligrams found in your average mug at starbucks, that's a whole lot of caffeine. the "transformers 4" will be
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filmed this spring in the detroit area. it is dolling out $20 million in incentives for the movie project which is expected to hire more than 300 local people. did you ever wonder if that junk have you been saving for a money? our next story will make you think twice about selling your old stuff for pennies on the dollar. here's zain verjee. >> reporter: hi, carol. why wasn't this me? why didn't i buy the bowl, or you? well it doesn't sound real, but take a look at it. this bowl was picked up for just three bucks, $3. it just sold for $2.2 million in new york city. the white bowl is actually a really rare chinese artifact from the song dynasty. curators are saying it's 1,000 years old. the buyer just stumbled on it at a regular yard sale about five
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years ago and he just kept the treasure in his living room for years. it wasn't until he had it valued that he realized what it was worth. the bowl is now in the hands of a wealthy london dealer. it's close to me now, i know where it is, but i can't afford it, carol. >> me neither. thank you, zain. the field of 64 are set. are your brackets ready? the two final teams punched their tickets to the ncaa tourney. the bleacher report, next. zap technology.
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our "talk back" question today. will gitmo ever close? this from marie, "keep it! the release would be a hazard from all countries." from dale, "gitmo will never close, because the countries that the detainees are from don't want them back and our allies won't share in the workload." and from jeremy, "gitmo is one of those things that people refer to as a necessary evil. it needs to close, but what happens afterwards and just how evil does it make us for keeping it open?" please continue the conversation, facebook.com/carolcnn or tweet me @carolcnn. thanks, as always, for your comments. e walmart low price guarantee, backed by ad match. their ad price is ten for ten dollars, walmart's everyday low price is lower than their sale price. that's awesome! green bean casserole is a big easter dish in my house. really? yes, and right there... cream of mushroom soup. oh, here you go. that's what you put in it. yeah.
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the heat is on in the nba. lebron james won their 24th straight after mounting an amazing comeback. >> the heat are just nine wins away from tying the '72 lakers for the longest winning streak in the nba history. and the way they kept their streak alive was incredible. tip-off was delayed about 35 minutes because the scoreboard was leaking some sort of liquid. now, the delay must have affected the heat, because they fell behind by 27 points. and the team's trailing by 27 or more in the second half had come back to win only five times in
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2018 games, coming into last night. but once again, lebron would not be denied. he led a furious comeback in the final 18 minutes. he finished with a triple double as heat win in amazing fashion, 98-95 to keep the streak alive. and the number two story in the lineup on bleacherreport.com, a calves fan donning a "we miss you, lebron" t-shirt ran on the court in the fourth quarter, but he didn't rattle king james. >> he just said he missed me and come back, please, and i didn't have much time to say much to him, because, you know, the security got to him. but i just patted him on the head. >> and playing gaming for the big dance wrapping up last night. lasalle back in the tournament and having no problem with boise state. they won 80-71 and will play kansas state on friday. rounding out the field of 64 will be james madison. the dukes won their first tournament game in 30 years, taking care of liu brooklyn to
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earn them a matchup with indiana. in case you had any hope of ending up with a perfect bra bracket, let me end that for you right now. the odds of filling out a perfect bracket are 1 in 92 quintillion. if all possible brackets were stacked on top of each other, the pile would reach from the moon and back, over 1.1 million times. carol, there is some good news. if you know something about basketball and the tournament, like 16 seeds don't beat 1 seeds, your chances increase to 1 in 128 billion. >> how long did it take you to figure out all that math? >> crunching some numbers. i had my calculator out earlier today. >> i heard it exploding. the next hour of "cnn newsroom" starts right now.
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happening now in the newsroom, 50 chicago elementary schools closing. mayor rahm emanuel set the announce the plan today. critics say it targets minorities and the poor. >> ridiculous. >> any part of chicago that's trying to rebuild, the neighborhood is important. >> parents, as you heard, they want answers. also, accused of slapping a baby on a flight. this man says he is not guilty, he was just stressed out. and races against time to make a life or death decision, his own son on life-support. also, the legal battle over monster energy drinks. the caffeine stays the same, but there is a major change you need to know about. plus, if you're a 17-year-old guy, could you imagine having swimsuit model kate upton as your prom date? might be a dream come true for one lucky fella. newsroom starts now. good morning. i'm carol costello.
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thank you so much for being with us. we begin this morning with the battle over reforming our gun laws. vice president joe biden is speaking out and refusing to back down from a proposed assault weapons ban. the vice president spoke to npr about the need to limit large capacity magazines too. >> in newtown, those 20 beautiful babies and six serious people trying to help them, administrators and teachers, all dead, today. the police responded in 2 1/2 minutes. 2 1/2 minutes. this guy had 30-round clips in it. if that had been only ten rounds, who knows whether one or two or five or seven of those people would be alive today. >> or he could have just reloaded and loaded another magazine. >> that's not true. that's not true. because he reloaded with 30-round clips and that's as far as he got. just do the math. >> the vice president continues his message today. he and new york mayor, michael bloomberg, will speak next hour.
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they'll be joined by families from newtown, connecticut. cnn national correspondent susan candiotti is outside the event in new york. good morning, susan. >> reporter: good morning, carol. yes, you know, the chances of currently passing a strong gun control legislation appear pretty slim, probably, given what happened earlier this week. senator harry reid, you'll remember, announced that he was dropping the assault weapon ban from the current proposal, before the senate bill. now, senator dianne feinstein says she will introduce it as an amendment, adding that she won't lay down and play dead. so, carol, the gop continues to say, the better idea is to simply better enforce the laws that are already on the books. carol, the debate isn't ending anytime soon. >> doesn't appear to be. what role does the school shooting at newtown play here? >> reporter: well, as you indicated, of course, newtown parents, many of them, will be at this news conference today,
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standing aside new york's mayor bloomberg, and of course, vice president biden. they've been supporting the president's proposed legislation for that assault weapon ban, but will their support make a difference in the end? one thing is for sure, of course, the memories of what happened that day in newtown at sandy hook elementary remain vivid in everyone's mind. here's what the police chief said last night on piers morgan live. >> that day will be etched in my mind, will forever change me. and as i reflect today about that day, as much as i try to forget about it, i just can't, and i know that will give me the energy to move forward and to hopefully make change in our society that we need. >> reporter: and you know what, carol, we have the results of a cnn/orc poll that indicate that public support for major gun control restrictions has
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actually been on the decline since sandy hook, gone down. >> that's true. susan candiotti reporting live from new york. security has been stepped up at the governor's mansion in colorado and for other government heads, after the shooting death of prison chief, tom clements. he was shot in the chest tuesday night when he answered the door at his home near colorado springs. right now, police have very little to go on, but investigators say several neighbors saw a car in the area at the time of the shooting. it's an older, dark-color coupe and witnesses say it was idling with no one inside. that car later sped off. police are now combing through hours of traffic camera footage, hoping to find that car and get a license plate number. investigators also hope a woman walking in the area at that same time may have seen something, but they need to find her as well, and there is no description. right now police are going through about a hundred solid tips. now let's shift gears to a story unfolding right now in chicago, that could send chills through cash-strapped cities
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across the country. today, chicago is expected to announce that it is closing nearly 10% of all of its schools. some 50 schools in all, tens of thousands of students will be displaced. school officials say the these kids will be sent to better schools with more resources, but many parents are outraged. they say these cuts are mainly targeting minorities. don lemon is here to discuss this. and you've lived in chicago. you've reported extensively there. parents are really upset about this, but the mayor has to do something. >> the mayor has to do something. they've got a $1 billion budget deficit. so he has to do something. but the problem is, what does he do? at the beginning of the school year, some people are saying they got off easy with just 50 schools, carol. at the beginning of the school year, they said they were going to close potentially 80 to 120 schools. so it's causing issues. there's no money. also, racial issues in the city, because black alderman are saying, we got you elected and now you are closing most of
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these schools in black neighborhoods on the south and west sides of chicago. and you didn't listen to us. there was no consensus about which areas and which schools should be closed. so it's causing some big issues, beyond money. >> i would suspect that parents are concerned about their children's safety, too. because these children now have to be transported farther to school. they can't go in their own neighborhoods. >> and besides the issue that we have with guns, we can talk about. but, yes, safety, just outside of that issue, where are the resources going to go? which schools? in one neighborhood, the englewood neighborhood, they're estimating that 2,000 to 3,000 kids could be affected. how do you then keep all of those kids safe and then get them to the right schools and right places quickly? how does that happen? >> and in the mayor's defense, though, some of these schools aren't well populated by students. some of them are nearly empty, and some of them are, with frankly, bad. so is there a positive in this? 330 of the 681 schools in chicago, underenrolled. is there a positive? yes. the positive is that they've put all these people, put all the
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kids into schools that are performing at level or better and everything is great. but it's not a completely utopian society. it's not a perfect world, so that probably won't happen. but, again, i think the bigger issue here, being they're covering it, people are going to be concerned about the violence, especially the gun violence on the streets of chicago, affecting schoolchildren, which you and i have reported on, and how do you keep those children safe, and how do you cherry pick which neighborhoods they should go to and from? >> tough decisions. don lemon, many thanks. the idaho man who's accused of slapping a toddler and uttering a racial slur on board a delta flight to atlanta last month, he gets his day in court. his name is joe ricky hundley. his lawyer says he was distraught over his own son at the time and wants to be forgiven. cnn's nick valencia was in the courtroom. >> reporter: defendant joe ricky hundley accused of allegedly slapping a 19-month-old and using a racial slur entered a not guilty plea in federal court. now, hundley was accompanied by
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his wife and two attorneys and spoke very little when the judge addressed him. he appeared to be anxious and spoke very little other than to acknowledge the charges against him. if convicted, hundley faces up to one year in jail and a $100,000 fine. after the appearance, hundley's lawyer, marcia sheen, addressed the media and read from a prepared statement. >> the night that the incident occurred that mr. hundley has been charged with, he was traveling from atlanta to minneapolis to decide to take his only child and son off of life-support. he was under a great deal of stress and was very grieved and he'd been up for the prior 24 hours. when this happened, on the plane, he said something inappropriate to mrs. bennett, he shouldn't have said, even in his darkest hour. we hope, for mrs. bennett's sake and our client's sake, that everyone will forgive him for what he said and to heal. >> reporter: hundley's trial date is set for may 13th. nick valencia, cnn, atlanta.
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this morning in israel, rockets fire, a cease-fire wobbles, and president obama's visit highlights the enormous challenges as they're trying top broker a piece deal. earlier this morning, president obama met with mahmoud abbas, the president of the palestinian authority, and this morning it's the palestinians who are blamed for the latest tension. it's believed a fringe militant group fired at least two rockets from gaza. they crashed into southern israel, causing no injuries, but still dealing a blow to mr. obama's push for israeli/palestinian peace talks. cnn's john king, our chief national correspondent, is in jerusalem. good morning, john. >> reporter: good morning, carol. look, the question now is how further does the rocket attack complicate the peace process, the lack of a peace process, really c really, the effort to get a peace process going. hamas controls gaza. it may have been a fringe militant group, but hamas controls gaza and any militant group that would do this would
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assume had hamas' blessing. so was it a message to the israeli government? a message to president obama? or could it have been a message to mahmoud abbas, who, yes, is the president of the palestinian authority and the leader of the fatah political movement, but he has great differences and a great internal rivalry within the palestinian territories with hamas. that is one of the big questions and one of the big obstacles to getting a peace process going again. president obama did not spend too much time on this in his first term, but he is determined to focus on it in the second term, and listen to the optimistic tone here, despite the big differences. >> we can not give up on the search for peace, no matter how hard it is. as i said with prime minister netanyahu yesterday, we will continue to look for steps that both israelis and palestinians can take to build the trust and the confidence upon which lasting peace will depend. >> reporter: so the president saying, let's get back to the table, but, carol, the question is, will either party, will the palestinians come back, will the israelis come back if the
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palestinians first don't -- will the palestinians come back if the israelis don't stop settlement activities, and will the israelis come back if the palestinians don't work out the hamas issue. still, the president says he's going to work at this, but we'll see. he'll leave the secretary of state here to try to do some of the harder work as he moves on after tomorrow, carol. >> well, we heard what the president was saying publicly, but what happened in the private talks between the two men, a lot more important than what was said in public. when do you think we'll know if president obama's trip was a success or kind of a waste of time? >> reporter: could actually be a couple weeks and maybe even longer than that. it's true, what prime minister netanyahu said about preconditions, about what he's prepared to do, what he's prepared to give away is more important than anything we've heard in public. the same. did president abbas say he's worked something out with hamas, where maybe he can get some progress made, we don't know. we're not in the private meeting. and we won't know that at least for some time. secretary of state kerry will stay behind. everybody believes if you tried to force the parties back to the
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table tomorrow, it would be counterproductive. you have to do some preliminary work first. so let's check back in two weeks, maybe two months. if there's no peace process in a month or two, carol, you could say the president failed, at least in the short-term. but don't expect something by tomorrow or in the very near future. >> i don't think anyone does, john. you don't have to worry about that. thank you so much, john king, reporting live from june. politics/entertainment. yes, politics can be very, very funny. we all got a fresh dose of sarah palin last week when she took center stage at the conservative political action conference. now we're getting another dose of tina fey. >> same-sex marriage, what is your view on that, please? >> well, the bible says it's gross. and i don't judge it. a lot of the amazing, wonderful people i met in the audience at
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"dancing with the stars" seem to go that way. but, no. >> no? no same-sex marriage? >> mm-mm. marriage is meant for people who wear different kinds of swimsuits. >> women look up to you. >> mm-hmm. >> do you have any fashion and hairstyling advice for them? >> well, i'm a fan of the bump-it. also, to a tan you couldn't possibly have in alaska. and that's really all you need. >> of greater importance, how does a woman, like you, make her way through a man's world? >> i don't think of it as a man's world or a woman's world, unless, again, we're talking about marriage. but i think of it as people being mavericks or not being
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mavericks. >> may i have just one more then, please? >> okay, then. but you know, sometimes people ask me stuff and i don't answer it anyways, so go ahead. i'm a slippery one. >> that's true. what do you think of tina fey's portrayal of you? >> it's the best one i never watched. >> thank you very much! thank you. >> we needed a laugh this morning. that was good. even people who don't care about college basketball can get caught up in march madness. fans stream so much game video on the job, it can threaten to crash computer networks, entire computer networks, and affect everyone. we'll hear from one tech exec who keeps his system running, though. [ female announcer ] are you sensitive to dairy?
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we do whatever it takes to make your business our business. od. helping the world keep promises. 17 minutes past the hour. time to check our top stories in north korea, new threats today against the united states. a statement from pyongyang warns that american air and naval
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bases in guam and japan are within its, quote, striking range. the warning follows disclosure that american b-52 bombers have been flying over south korea as part of annual military exercises. freddie mac isn't resolving complaints fast enough. that's according to the mortgage giant's federal reserve watchdog. the complaints include fraud and improper foreclosures. they're supposed to be handled within 30 days, but in one of every five cases between october of 2011 and november 2012, freddie mac failed to make that deadline. freddie mac did not immediately comment. same-sex marriage gets a nod from the american academy of pediatrics. the group says children's health and well-being are better when their parents are married. the group also says that 30 years of research, there's no proof children raised by gay parents are any worse off than those raised by straight parents. big money problems on the tiny island of cyprus being felt
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in u.s. stocks right now. take a look at the dow, dropping right at the open. alison kosik at the new york stock exchange, what will the damage be today, do you think? >> reporter: well, right now the damage is pretty stiff right now. the dow down 86 points. at this point, the dow is erasing all of wednesday's gains. investors are still on edge about the debt situation happening in cyprus. you know, the country, it's got until monday to sort itself out or face the possibility of a financial collapse. some decent numbers out of the housing market, not really helping to lift stocks out of that dour mood. sales of previously owned homes, they rose 0.8% in february. that coming in a bit weaker than forecast. but, still, if you look at sales, they're up quite a bit from this time last year, up 10%. if you look at median prices, they rose to $173,600 in february. this reading, carol, is really one of the most important housing reports that wall street gets, because existing home sales account for about 90% of all housing activity. so what this report does is it
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gives us a nice, broad gauge of the health of the market. even if you're not looking to sell your home, this is pretty decent news, because home sales is, you know, a key driver of economic growth. though the market is not too sweet on this report. especially with the news about cyprus. carol? >> understood. alison kosik reporting live from the new york stock exchange. still ahead, need a pick-me-up? energy drinks are a popular choice, but how much caffeine are you really drinking? we're going to tell you about some monster changes, next. [ female announcer ] born from the sweet monk fruit,
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uh, charles couldn't make it. his single miles card blacked him out here and here. he should have used...
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the capital one venture card. he's coming to us from home. hey fellas... hey baby, you want mama to iron your undies? nice tightie whities. i didn't know mrs. barkley made quilts. really? looks like a circus tent. is that the best you got? now if you put this, with this, you have a sailboat. what's in your wallet? in productivity at your company starts slipping about two hours from now, you can blame march madness. workers streaming the games are not just distracting themselves, but slowing down computer systems for non-fans. cnn's dan simon talks with one tech exec who's preventing
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crashes on the information superhighway. >> reporter: this is kip compton. >> well, it's really about planning and network design. >> reporter: he's got an engineering degree from m.i.t. and is a high-level executive at cisco. >> i'm the cto of video and collaboration. >> reporter: he knows what it takes to keep computer networks up and running, especially when they're being overtaken by data-hungry devices streaming ncaa basketball. >> it's almost like a traffic jam. you have wide open lanes and if you've got a lot of people streaming, you've got a lot of cars in the leap and it's going to slow everything down. >> it's like when the game gets out of a stadium, there's going to be a traffic jam, because there's a lot more cars than the roads were designed to handle. >> reporter: cisco has its own basketball court and it seemed like an appropriate place to talk march madness. or as kip calls it, march network madness. according to a recent survey, more than a third of all companies will take action to
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prepare for it. some will even ban streaming video. explain what is march network madness? >> it's when work is disrupted, not so much because people are distracted by the games, which happens regardless of how your network works, but when other people who aren't even interested in march madness have their jobs slowed down. they can't access their e-mail, they have trouble surfing the web because of all these people are watching video. >> reporter: in other words, it's when you've got a bunch of people sitting at desks who aren't working and streaming the games that could cause the company's internet to come to a screeching halt. by the way, in tv news, we call this file video. they're not really watching games. >> i think each company needs to decide. but at cisco, what we do is we allow employees to do these things and they're accountability for their productivity, but we allow them to access these types of content. >> reporter: so enjoy, cisco employees. and as for everyone else, check out with your i.t. manager or try not to get caught.
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dan simon, cnn, san jose, california. >> fabulous advice. have you filled out your brac t brackets yet? mine are in and so are those for the other cnn anchors. you can following how we're doing, go to cnn.com/brackets. that will take you to our leader board in the cnn bracket challenge. fascinating, right? two very important votes happening right now on capitol hill. cnn's dana bash is as always manning capitol hill. the ryan budget about to be voted on, dana? >> it's being voted on as we speak. and this is something that we do expect to pass on a party line vote, as it has the past couple of years. so this is the first in a couple of votes that the house is going to take before they leave town for two weeks, carol, for spring break. the second vote is perhaps the most interesting and noteworthy for people wondering if the government is going to keep running. remember, the government officially runs out of money on the 27th of march. the answer is, we anticipate yes. the second vote we're going to see is going to be a vote to
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keep the government running, to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, september 30th, and despite some differences, some real differences over spending levels and so forth, everybody decided, democrats and republicans, to actually hold on to your hat, carol, come together and find a way to avoid a politically perilous situation of the government shutting down. >> i'm going to play the lottery today. you know, speaking of that bill, which will keep the government running, it still includes the sequestration cuts. those forced spending cuts, right? >> for the most part, yes. but there are some ways that they have tried to give some agencies, including the defense department and others, some flexibility to make more -- to make choices, basically, so that some of the deepest cuts, some of the cuts that they think are the most perilous, can be avoided. part of the problem, of course,
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is that the forced spending cuts were across the board and they were arbitrary. so this does give agencies, at least some of them, some ability to mitigate that, but not all. >> all right. well, at least it's a temporary measure and you'll have something to talk about in the next -- in the months to come, right? >> oh, yeah. absolutely. always do. >> always do. dana bash, thanks so much. energy drinks are a popular way to get that jolt you need to get through the day, but do you know how much caffeine you're really getting? now a big change is coming to those familiar cans of monster energy. is it enough? [ nurse ] i'm a hospice nurse. britta olsen is my patient. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said, "someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand.
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"not tonight, britta. not tonight." [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson. ...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. ♪ ♪
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♪ [ male announcer ] don't just reject convention. drown it out. introducing the all-new 2013 lexus ls f sport. an entirely new pursuit. the government giveth, the government taketh away. a $5 million airport control tower built with stimulus money now closed by cuts at the
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good morning. i'm carol costello. thanks for being with us this morning. despite the health warning, energy drinks are big, big business. a $12.5 billion industry. but these highly caffeinated drinks are not without controversy. they will now market their drink as a beverage and not as a dietary supplement. and that means they won't have to tell federal regulators about people possibly getting sick or dying. we'll talk to a city attorney, who's fighting to regulate caffeine levels in energy drinks in just a few minutes. but we want to begin with dr. bob arnott, a paid medical consultant for monster energy. welcome, doctor. >> good morning, carol. >> cynics might say monster is changing its labels to avoid lawsuits. for example, a maryland says their 14-year-old died after drinking two monster energy
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drinks within a 24-hour period. so this sudden decision to relabel seems suspect to some. >> it's really interesting. i looked at that case in great definition and it's quite clear she died from my car dits, and there's zero relevance between caffeine and sudden death. in terms of the change of label, all energy drinks that have have been labeled as supplements have been suspect. in the sense that you say supplement, and automatically there's this cloud of you in terms of saying something's a supplement. the idea was, they wanted to get out from under that cloud to label as a food or a beverage. so i want to make one point really clear, that as monster intends to continue to report any adverse effects to the fda, so it's not trying to duck out from that, it just wants to get out from the cloud of being labeled a supplement. >> but just going back to -- and i just want to point out that the company and you looked into this girl's medical records, but you're being paid by the
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company. so that might make people a little suspect. >> well, i wouldn't really say suspect. they've given me a complete -- i've come in here to really look at the responsible use of energy drinks. the reason the company approached me, i have a best-selling book, "the aztec diet," and in that i mention that i actually use energy drinks. it's a completely responsible use, but i don't think it's suspect at all. you know, the key issue here, carol, is that. in the report, and i read through attorney herrera's report here. his concern is caffeine levels. so his concern is that in eight fluid ounces here, roughly this amount, that 100 to 300 milligrams, he considers to be too much. well, in 8 ounces of a monster energy, it's only 80 milligrams. and to put that into perspective, if you were to have a starbucks cafe grande, you have 330 milligrams. so there are energy drinks out there that have a ton of caffeine and it may be too much. go to energyfiend.com and you'll see that you have to go down 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, down to about
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120 until you reach monster energy. so a very small amount of caffeine. >> would you still suggest, perhaps, an 8-year-old drink monster energy? because i don't see many 8-year-olds standing in line at starbucks? >> absolutely not. back in 2002 when this was formulated, monster energy looked at the data on kids and said, there's not enough data one way or the other. we're not going to market to kids, advertise to kids, not going to sell to kids, and we're not going to recommend it to kids. and if you look at the label on the can, it says, not recommended for children. the other thing monster is doing, it's also labeling the total amount of caffeine. people have criticized energy drinks for hiding caffeine, but you'll see the total amount. so in april, 50% of the cans, and in may, 90% of the cans will have stamped on them voluntary the total amount of caffeine that's in there so the public can judge how much there is. >> dr. bob arnott, thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks, carol. >> posting the caffeine content on labels for drinks like monster energy is just the first
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step. dennis herrera is a city attorney for san francisco. welcome. >> good morning, carol. >> good morning. so you have sort of the opposite view. you and a group of doctors have been asking the fda to force these energy drink makers to include that information. it looks like you got your wish. >> well, it's a step in the right direction. historically, monster and most other energy drink manufacturers really shied away from classifying their product as beverages, because if you are a beverage, caffeine is a food additive, which then would have to meet, under federal law, the generally recognized as safe. which means it has to be a general consensus of scientific opinion that the product is safe. and that is a burden that's on the manufacturer. they've never had to show that, and by classifying it as a dietary supplement, they escaped regulation totally. so from our perspective, this is a step in the right direction, and now the impetus is going to be on monster to demonstrate that their product is safe. we've asked them to do that.
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and unfortunately, they haven't. and i think that what you've seen is, there's at least 18 nationally recognized scientists that have wrote to the fda, to say, there's not that consensus of opinion. >> and that's basically because these energy drinks still have more caffeine in them than you can find in sodas, right? >> well, that's a piece of it. if you look at fda regulations, they require for cola-related drinks, about 71 milligrams the limit for a 12 ounce serving. monster, for example, in a 12-ounce serving has somewhere between 160 milligrams of caffeine and 240 milligrams of caffeine, and there are many other energy drinks that have well in excess of that. and oftentimes, their product is not only a 12-ounce drink, but it's a 24-ounce drink. >> mr. herrera, i have to interrupt you right now and i apologize for that. we have to go to israel. president obama is now speaking. wolf blitzer, let's go to you. >> the president of the united states in jerusalem at the jerusalem convention center, the
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centerpiece of his visit to israel, addressing young people, a few thousand are gathered inside. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. complete analysis immediately following the president's speech. >> it is a great honor to be with you here in jerusalem and i'm so grateful for the welcome that i've received from the people of israel. thank you. i bring with me the support of the american people and the friendship that binds us together. you know, over the last two days, i've reaffirmed the bonds between our countries with prime minister netanyahu and president peres.
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i've born witness to the ancient history of the jewish people at the shrine of the book and i've seen israel's shining future in your scientists and your entrepreneurs. this is a nation of museums and patents, timeless holy sites, groundbreaking innovation. only in israel could you see the dead sea scrolls and the place where the technology on board the mars rover originated at the same time. but what i've most looked forward to is the ability to speak directly to you, the israeli people, especially so many young people who are here today. to talk about the history that brought us here today and the future that you will make in the
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years to come. now, i know that in israel's vibrant democracy, every word, every gesture is carefully scrutinized. but i want to clear something up, just so you know, any drama between me and my friend bibi over the years was just a plot to create material for irettes. that's the only they think that was going on. we just wanted to make sure the writers had good material. i also know that i've come to israel on the eve of a sacred holiday, the celebration of passover. and that is where i would like to begin today. just a few days from now, jews here in israel and around the
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world will sit with family and friends at the seder table and celebrate with songs, wines, and symbolic foods. after enjoying seders with family and friends in chicago and on the campaign trail, i'm proud that i've not brought this tradition into the white house. and i did so, i did so because i wanted my daughters to experience the story at the center of passover that makes this time of year so powerful. it's a story of centuries of slavery and years of wandering in the desert, a story of perseverance amidst persecution and faith in god and the torah. it's a story about finding freedom in your own land. and for the jewish people, this
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story is central to who you've become. but it's also a story that holds within it the universal human experience, with all of its suffering, but also all of its salvation. it's a part of the three great religions, judaism, christianity, and islam that trace their origins to abraham and see jerusalem as sacred. and it's a story that's inspired communities across the globe, including me and my fellow americans. in the united states, a nation made up of people who crossed oceans to start anew were naturally drawn to the idea of finding freedom in our land. to african-americans, the story of the exodus was perhaps the central story, the most powerful image about emerging from the grip of bondage to reach for
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liberty and human dignity. a tale that was carried from slavery through the civil rights movement into today. for generations, this promise helped people weather poverty and persecution, while holding on to the hope that a better day was on the horizon. for me, personally, growing up in far-flung parts of the world and without firm roots, the story spoke to a yearning within every human being for a home. of course, even as we draw strength from the story of god's will and his gift of freedom, expressed on passover, we also know that here on earth, we must bear our responsibilities in an imperfect world. that means accepting our measure of sacrifice and struggle, just
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like previous generations. it mean us working, through generation after generation on behalf of that ideal of freedom. as dr. martin luther king said on the day before he was killed, i may not get there with you, but i want you to know that we as a people will get to the promised land. so just as joshua carried on after moses, the work goes on for all of you, the joshua generation. for justice and dignity, for opportunity and freedom. for the jewish people, the journey to the promise of the state of israel wound through countless generations. it involved centuries of suffering and exile, prejudice
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and even genocide. threw it all, the jewish people sustained their unique traditions as well as a longing to return home. and while jews achieved extraordinary success in many parts of the world, the dream of true freedom finally found its true expression in the zionist idea. to be a free people in your homeland. that's why i believe that israel is rooted not just in history and tradition, but also in a simple and profound idea. the idea that people deserve to be free in a land of their own. over the last 65 years, when israel has been at its best, israelis have demonstrated that responsibility does not end when
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you reach the promised land, it only begins. and so israel has been a refuge for the diasper, welcoming jews from europe, from the former soviet union, from ooethiopia, from north africa. israel has built a prosper nation, business that broadened the middle class, innovators who reached new frontiers, from the smallest microchip to the orbits of space. israel's established a thriving democracy, with a spirited civil society and proud political parties and a tireless free press and a lively public debate. lively may be an understatement.
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and israel's achieved all of this even as it's overcome relentless threats to his security. through the courage of the israel defense forces and the citizenry that is so resilient in the face of terror. this is the story of israel. this is the work that's brought the dreams of so many generations to life. and every step of the way, israel has built unbreakable bonds of friendship with my country, the united states of america. those ties began only 11 minutes after israeli independence, when the united states was the first nation to recognize the state of israel. as president truman said in explaining his decision to recognize israel, he said, i
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believe it has a glorious future before it, not just as another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization. and since then, we've built a friendship that advances our shared interests. together, we share a commitment to security for our citizens and the stability of the middle east and north africa. together, we share a focus on advancing economic growth around the globe and strengthening the middle class within our own countries. together, we share a stake in the success of democracy. but the source of our friendship extends beyond mere interests, just as it has transcended political parties and individual leaders. america's a nation of immigrants. america's strengthened by diversity. america is enriched by faith. we are governed not simply by men and women, but by laws.
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we're fueled by entrepreneurship and innovation and we are defined by a democratic discourse that allows each generation to reimagine and renew our union once more. so in israel. we see values that we share. even as we recognize what makes us different. that is an essential part of our bo bond. now. i stand here today mindful that for both our nations, these are some complicated times. we have difficult issues to work through within our own countries and we face dangers and upheaval around the world. and when i look at young people within the united states, i think about the choices that they must make in their lives to define who we'll be as a nation in this 21st century,
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particularly as we emerge from two wars and the worst recession since the great depression. but part of the reason i rike talking to young people is because no matter how great the challenges are, their idealism and their ambition always gives me hope. and i see the same spirit in the young people here today. i believe that you will shape our future, and given the ties between our countries, i believe that your future is bound to ours. this is part of the lively
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debate that we talked about. this is good. you know, i have to say, we actually arranged for that, because it made me feel at home. you know, i wouldn't feel comfortable if i didn't have at least one heckler. i'd like to focus on how we, and when i said "we," in particular
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i mean young people, can work together to make progress in three areas that will define our times. security, piece, and prosperity. let me begin with security. i'm proud that the security relationship between the united states and israel has never been stronger, never. more exercises between our militaries, more exchanges among our political and military and intelligence officials than ever before. the largest program to date to help you retain your qualitative military edge. these are the facts. these aren't my opinions. these are facts. but to me, this is not simply
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measured on a balance sheet. i know that here in israel, security is something personal. here's what i think about when i consider these issues. when i consider israel's security, i think about children, like osha twedl, who i met. children the same age as my own daughters, who went to bed at night fearful that a rocket would land in their bedroom, simply because of who they are and where they live. that reality is why we've invested in the iron dome system, to save countless lives. because those children deserve to sleep better at night. that's why we've made it clear, time and again, that israel cannot accept rocket attacks from gaza, and we have stood up
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for israel's right to defend itself. and that's why israel has a right to expect hamas to renounce violence and recognize israel's right to exist. when i think about israel's security, i think about five israelis who boarded a bus in bulgaria and were blown up because of where they came from, robbed of the ability to live and love and raise families. that's why every country that values justice should call hezbollah what it truly is, a terrorist organization.
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because the world cannot tolerate an organization that murders innocent civilians, stockpiles rockets to shoot its cities, and supports the massacre of men, women, and children in syria right now. the fact that hezbollah has allied the assad regime has stockpiles of chemical weapons only heightens the urgency. we will continue to cooperate closely to guard against that danger. i've made it clear to bashar al assad and all who follow his orders, we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists. the world is watching. we will hold you accountable. the syrian people have the right to be freed from the grip of a dictator who would rather kill his own people than relinquish power.
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assad must go, so that syria's future can begin. because true stability in syria depends upon establishing a government that is responsible to its people. one that protects all communities within its borders, while making peace with countries beyond them. these are the things i think about when i think about israel's security. when i consider israel's security, i also think about a people who have a living memory of the holocaust, faced with the prospect of a nuclear-armed iranian government who has called for israel's destruction. it's no wonder israelis view this as an existential threat. but this is not simply a challenge for israel, it is a danger for the entire world, including the united states. a nuclear-armed iran would raise
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the risk of nuclear terrorism, it would undermine the nonproliferation regime, it would spark an arms race in a volatile region, and it would embolden a government that has shown no respect for the rights of its own people or the responsibilities of nations. that's why america's built a coalition to increase the cost to iran of failing to meet their obligations. the iranian government is now under more pressure thanver before and that pressure is increasing. it is isolated, its economy is in dire straits, its leadership is divided, and its position in the region and the world has only grown weaker. i do believe that all of us have an interest in resolving this issue peacefully. strong and principled diplomacy